The port town of Tigre, the epicenter of the Paraná Delta, is only 45 minutes away from the city of Buenos Aires by train, which leaves regularly from Retiro station. There are also a number of buses that come back to the capital if you miss the last train, so there’s no excuse not to go.
Forget Colonia in Uruguay, Tigre is where it’s at if you want to escape Buenos Aires for a day. Many choose to “tick” Uruguay off the list, but Tigre is far more enchanting, not to mention much easier on your wallet.
One day not enough? Make a weekend out of it. Between the quaint town with its shops, markets, and cafés, and the picturesque setting of the island and rivers, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied over two or three days.
Tigre is the perfect romantic getaway. You can easily find private cabins tucked away deep into the delta where you will feel like the only two people on Earth—ideal mini-break material.
It’s common for Argentines to split their summers between Tigre and the city, and often people will negotiate prices with local landlords to rent out a property for a month or two, allowing you to get the full delta experience.
And one of the benefits of renting a cabin or house for a month or longer is that you’ll have plenty of weekends when you can invite friends, who are no doubt dying to get out of the city, to stay with you for the weekend. They can bring you supplies you might be missing and also chip in for the rent. It’s a win win!
Tigre is immaculately maintained, and it is obvious that people who live here do so for the beauty, and they want to keep it that way. In the main town center, you can’t go more than a few meters without seeing something of interest to stop and look at, and the fact that it is right beside such a natural wonderland makes it all the more interesting.
The delta is chock-full of little galleries, markets, antiques shops, and boutiques. In summer there are a wealth of street parties, food festivals, and dance parties, so there’s something for everyone and it’s impossible to get bored.
Tigre has lots of little cafés, bars, and restaurants, serving everything from standard Argentine fare like parillas, milanesas, pizzas and empanadas, to higher-class restaurants and health food places. Out on the islands there are a multitude of restaurants overlooking the river, just ask in the tourist information center in town for more details.
The Parque de la Costa is a fun amusement park where you can take the kids. Kids also love to take a trip on the water taxi, which takes you on an idyllic trip around the islands.
One of the most amazing things about the delta is how it transports you to a completely different world only an hour away from the bustling metropolis of Buenos Aires. You could be forgiven for thinking you’re in the backwaters of South East Asia, such are the similarities between the color of the water and the lush vegetation.
It is impossible to be anxious once you are out on the delta. At some points you can see the skyline of Buenos Aires in the distance, and you will feel more relaxed than ever. The pace of life is slower in Tigre, and you will forget about all your worries.
The muddy brown waters, the overhanging trees, the lopsided wooden jetties, the boats put-putting down the river… what could be more Mark Twain-esque? Tigre will transport you to another time and place, and you can live out your South American fantasy or your fantasy of being in the Deep South of America.
One of the best things to do on the delta is to get a gang of revelers together and rent a party boat. Boats can be hired for the afternoon, and you can bring your own booze, food, and music to make the day truly yours. There is nothing like partying on a riverboat and then jumping into the water to let you know you’re having a good time.
There are beaches dotted all over the delta. You can go to one of the public beaches, or, if you’re lucky, the cabin or house you rent will have its own private beach. Many of the houses also have swimming pools, if the silty water of the delta doesn’t appeal to you.
Kayaking is a very popular sport on the delta. Its leisurely pace, low energy requirement and low skill level make it perfect for the sleepy nature of Tigre. You can even do night kayaking trips. If you have a boat, get a donut to cast off the back and whip around on the river that way—it’s super fun!